Exciting Times with AI and MFE Alumnus Karim Khiar


Financial markets are ripe for significant disruption. With immense pressure from shareholders, regulators and customers, capital markets, firms and buyside players are now expected to deliver bigger returns with lower costs. Margins continue to be compressed. Traders are expected to react instantaneously while analyzing the market, client behavior, and respecting compliance and risk constraints.

In the face of these industry challenges, Karim Khiar, Berkeley MBA ’02 and MFE '02, partnered with a major hedge fund investor to co-found Al Market Making ("AIM2"). With a team of more than 25 financial engineers, data scientists and AI experts working in three locations - New York, London, and Austin - the AIM2 team creates the most innovative artificial intelligence-based financial technology software on the market today. One product models large data pools across all asset classes, creating Al engines to improve trading desks' ability to make markets and grow market share in mainly flow products. Another product creates algorithms at both high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) time scales, which can be used on a standalone basis to provide alpha signals to asset managers. Because of their direct collaboration with their clients, they are uniquely poised to enhance and automate all aspects of the investment process.

In early 2019, AIM2 announced a significant partnership with Nomura, a major financial services group headquartered in Asia, to deploy its market making technology on their platform. "The AIM2 team has a strong combination of data scientists and capital market experts and has built an industry-leading Al engine that we will use across all asset classes to enhance the client experience and increase market share in flow products." Steve Ashley, Senior Managing Director of Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Prior to AIM2, Karim developed transformational, cutting-edge financial technology at some of the world’s top investment banks and asset managers. At one of the top-tier US banks, Karim built an innovative quant team that focused on maximizing profit for the firm's wholesale financial markets business. Later, based on new progress in Al, he was picked by Brevan Howard to develop quantitative investment strategies, which could harness the power of AI. It was there in May 2018 that the idea for AIM2 was born.

With its remarkable application of artificial intelligence to the investment process, AIM2 creates bespoke products that increase profitability and enhance shareholder value to its clients in both the buy- and sell-side financial markets.

About The Author

As Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Berkeley MFE Program, my role-among other things-is to develop and maintain contacts with firms to find opportunities for the students and place them in outstanding internships and full-time positions.